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Referent

English translation: senior ... (description of function)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
German term or phrase:Referent
English translation:senior ... (description of function)
Entered by: Krokodil
Options:
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02:36 Aug 29, 2001
German to English translations [PRO]
Bus/Financial
German term or phrase: Referent
An employee in a "Referat" (division or section of a company). For example, a "Junior-Referent" within the personnel department of a company may be called upon to undertake administrative duties relating to expatriates (looking for a flat or a house, dealing with residence permits, etc.)
Krokodil
Germany
Local time: 02:11
senior ... (description of function)
Explanation:
as in "senior administrator", where "Junior-Referent" could be "junior administrator". I know this could be way off, but from experience, the translation of "Referent" is very much context-dependent. In my company, it is used to distinguish the various hierarchy levels (e.g. Mitarbeiter-Sachbearbeiter-Referent-Abteilungsleiter, in ascending order). Often enough, the translations one finds are completely nonsensical - e.g. here a "Sachbearbeiter" is titled an "expert", a "Referent" an "Assistant Director" (with the Abteilungsleiter being a Director) - but: there can be any number of Assistant Directors in one department, which to me is just incomprehensible.

Dietl gives "head of section", "assistant", "officer"... it really all depends on context. You might want to decide whether the English term you choose should reflect this person's status relative to his co-workers, or his actual function. Sorry for not being more helpful!
Selected response from:

Karin Walker
Germany
Local time: 02:11
Grading comment
This seems to be the best compromise, probably there isn't one single term which can be used universally to translate the word. Thanks to all of you for your comments!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
na +1senior ... (description of function)Karin Walker
naclerk
Deborah Shannon
nathat's a tough one
Roland Grefer
naassistant
Alexander Onishko
naexpert advisor
Maya Jurt
naspecialist
Alexander Schleber
na -1consultantmckinnc


  

Answers


7 mins
expert advisor


Explanation:
This is the offical translation.It does not really satisfy me, because those people are mostly junior professionals.

Maya Jurt
Switzerland
Local time: 02:11
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in pair: 545
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12 mins peer agreement (net): -1
consultant


Explanation:
Could be preceded by some qualifying phrase, for example, technnical documentation consultant.


    own experience
mckinnc
Local time: 02:11
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 335

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Karin Walker: "Referat" is often used in (ex)-governmental institutions or ministries - "consultant" would sound a bit trendy there
3 mins
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14 mins
specialist


Explanation:
A "Referent" is also often referred to as a "Sachbearbeiter" in German. This can be translated as "expert" or, on a slightly weaker level as "specialist".

But within your context and as a title, I believe that "Assistant" may be the best choice. "Junior specialist" or "junior expert" somehow does not sound right. But "Junior-Assistant" does.

HTH

Alexander Schleber
Belgium
Local time: 02:11
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 2340
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15 mins peer agreement (net): +1
senior ... (description of function)


Explanation:
as in "senior administrator", where "Junior-Referent" could be "junior administrator". I know this could be way off, but from experience, the translation of "Referent" is very much context-dependent. In my company, it is used to distinguish the various hierarchy levels (e.g. Mitarbeiter-Sachbearbeiter-Referent-Abteilungsleiter, in ascending order). Often enough, the translations one finds are completely nonsensical - e.g. here a "Sachbearbeiter" is titled an "expert", a "Referent" an "Assistant Director" (with the Abteilungsleiter being a Director) - but: there can be any number of Assistant Directors in one department, which to me is just incomprehensible.

Dietl gives "head of section", "assistant", "officer"... it really all depends on context. You might want to decide whether the English term you choose should reflect this person's status relative to his co-workers, or his actual function. Sorry for not being more helpful!


    Dietl: Dictionary of Legal, Commercial and Political Terms
Karin Walker
Germany
Local time: 02:11
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in pair: 119
Grading comment
This seems to be the best compromise, probably there isn't one single term which can be used universally to translate the word. Thanks to all of you for your comments!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Ralf Lemster: I share the same experience - make a suggestion, but add a translator's note
6 mins
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26 mins
assistant


Explanation:
Sincerely Yours,
Admiral

Alexander Onishko
Local time: 03:11
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian, Native in UkrainianUkrainian
PRO pts in pair: 45
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1 hr
clerk


Explanation:
...if the person is dealing with enquiries/pushing paper in their own right (rather than in an administrative support role) but lowlier than manager/executive/head of department, why not use 'clerk'/'junior clerk' ? Covers a wide range of office-based duties in many sectors, as shown by occupational listings (links below).


    Reference: http://www.jobfutures.ca/jf-ea/jf1.slevel?p_type=1
    Reference: http://www.labor.state.id.us/lmi/wage-survey/owsglos_office....
Deborah Shannon
Germany
Local time: 02:11
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 707
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2 hrs
that's a tough one


Explanation:
Without details regarding the other job responsibilities, this could be anything from

assistant director/manager
to
executive assistant


Roland Grefer
Local time: 20:11
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 231
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